SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Australia Wins Inaugural Ten Nations Cup

It came down to the wire, but Australia held their nerve and withstood a spirited challenge from New Zealand to win the inaugural Ten Nations Cup at Kingswood Golf Estate in George, South Africa on the weekend.

Brady Watt, Lucas Herbert, Ryan Ruffles and Geoff Drakeford combined to win the international team's competition with a 38-under-par total of 826, finishing just a single shot clear of the Kiwis.

England took third on 31-under, Argentina finished six shots back in fourth on 839 and Scotland took fifth on 22-under-par 842. Colombia posted a 213 to take sixth on 847, while South Africa, who launched a third round comeback with a 10-under 206 on Friday, made up another 11 shots in the final round to take seventh on 13-under-par 851.

Ireland finished in eighth place on 861 and France brought up the rear with a total of 877.

Australia's final round of 205 was a combination of a 70 from Watt, a 69 from Drakeford and a superb six-under-par 66 from 16-year-old Herbert.

'It's incredible'

Team captain David Nable said the side was absolutely thrilled with the victory. "It's incredible to have won the Ten Nations Cup and to have Australia's name on the trophy," he said. "We came over here with the hope of winning it. To have done it, is really incredible."

Victory didn't come easily and the final round was a tightly-fought contest, with New Zealand giving the Aussies a run for their money.

Starting three shots off the pace, Tyler Hodge holed a hallelujah putt at the 18th for a 68, Vaughan McCall carded a 69 and Blair Riordan knocked in seven straight birdies between the third and ninth holes on his way to a six-under 66.

However, their final round 203 left the Kiwis an agonising shot short of Australia's winning total.

"Credit to New Zealand, because they really brought it home strong and were able to make it a very close match in the end," Nable said.

"It's a very proud moment for the team. Brady shot that course record 62 on Thursday, our young 14-year-old Ryan Ruffles shot a seven-under-par on Friday and Lucas brought it home with his 66.

Individual scoring

Watt, who was selected to the side only last week, won the Individual Competition. The world number five finished with a 72-hole total of 18-under-par 198, three shots clear of New Zealand's Hodge and four ahead of Colombia's Carlos Ernesto Rodriguez.

South African new cap Louis Taylor also celebrated a great debut for South Africa with a tie for sixth in the individual standings.

He fired earlier rounds of 72-71-68 and closed with a 67 that included four birdies and an eagle. Haydn Porteous (68) and Zander Lombard (70) produced South Africa's other counting scores for a final round of 205.

Taylor, from Harrismith, was thrilled with the team's turnaround. "We got off to a rough start, but I think we redeemed ourselves over the last two rounds," he said.

TEAM LEADERBOARD

826 Australia 216-202-203-205

827 New Zealand 209-215-200-203

833 England 212-208-207-206

839 Argentina 212-212-202-213

842 Scotland 211-207-218-206

847 Colombia 214-217-203-213

851 South Africa 217-223-206-205

861 Ireland 214-222-211-214

877 France 215-221-217-224

TOP 10 INDIVIDUAL

270 Brady Watt (Aus) 69-62-69-70

273 Tyler Hodge (NZ) 70-68-67-68

274 Carlos Ernesto Rodriguez (Col) 70-68-67-69

275 Vaughan McCall (NZ) 69-72-65-69

275 Toby Tree (Eng) 69-71-67-68

278 Louis Taylor (RSA) 72-71-68-67

278 Max Orrin (Eng) 72-66-71-69

278 Graeme Robertson (Sco) 69-69-69-71

278 Jamie Lopez Rivarola (Arg) 69-69-66-74

279 James White (Sco) 71-67-75-66

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